My Car Quest

June 16, 2024

Concorso Italiano 2023

by Wallace Wyss –

Concorso Italiano was another well planned show though had more of a cars-‘n-coffee feel than say The Quail ($1000+ ticket) or Pebble beach (roughly $500 a ticket). The goal was to fill a couple of well manicured greens of the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Course with everything Italian.

The show does not discriminate against low price cars–if it’s Italian you can apply. I enjoyed seeing a Fiat X1-9, a car that has no chance of entering Pebble Beach but shows you how good a low cost Italian car can be when restored to Pebble standard.

Ferrari

Ferrari 250 Lusso

There were Ferraris, Maserati, Lamborghinis, Fiats, Iso, Bizzarrini, and Alfa plus a few almost unknown to Americans. Concorso celebrates milestones among the notable marques and this year they celebrated Lamborghini with 60 years in the industry. Maserati for 60 years of the Quattroporte, Maserati for Merak’s 50th. The lesser known Lancia Appia was celebrated, a model introduced 70 years ago.

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

A little jarring was two Citroen SM coupes, which were a Franco-Italian collaboration, and when you see them with their rear skirts you realize Citroen, way back then, was where Detroit is still trying to be aerodynamically. But of course it was still an all Italian car– a 1967 Lamborghini Muira–that won Best in Show. Actually last year it was a Bizzarrini with a made in USA Chevy engine that won Best of Show.

Citroen SM

Citroen SM

Lamborghini

Lamborghini

One of he most interesting cars was a copy of a Ferrari P3/4 but when you got closer you saw it was a copy of the ’67 412P, a tamer cousin of the P3/4. A real P3/4 is worth something like $20 million and I think RM Sothebys sold one for that price at Monterey this year. So this one had a more modern Ferrari engine and the workmanship was competent–fun to see exotics in raw aluminum.

Ferrari

Ferrari Racecar

Again Pebble Beach probably wouldn’t allow a hobbyist showing 200-mph exotics that were a tribute, not an original era car. I was a little jarring to see some SUVs displayed. Two examples from Lamborghini, the Urus, but I did not see the new Ferrari Purosangue.

Ferrari Line Up

Ferrari Line Up

The way to enjoy the show best was to pay extra to sit at table in the VIP dining area where you had front row seat for the judging, with chief judge Matt Stone who, besides being jovial, has an incredible amount of stories. If you didn’t go for the VIP dining area there were food trucks but $20 wouldn’t get you very far there though it was more gourmet than food trucks usually are.

Ghia 450SS

Ghia 450SS

Siata

Siata

There was some celebration of Italian cuisine, live music, and fashion exhibitions that transported them to the heart of Italy. Nobody stops you from setting up your own picnic table and dining on food you brought. I love those wicker picnic baskets and I think there should be an award for best club picnic table. Pebble doesn’t let you do that!

I didn’t get a list of winners but I was surprised and pleased to see an Iso Rivola won best in class because the Rivolta is a four seater and less dramatic than its two seater kin. Buddy Pepp, the Rivolta owner, owns many cars but is perhaps more invested in his Riolta than other owners–his car is worthy of Pebble Beach.

Each year at least one new model is shown here and this year it was the new Bizzarrini company’s version of an Iso Grifo A3/C–the car that preceded the Bizzarrini Strada. The workmanship was great and the fly yellow exciting. I don’ know how many were ordered but even one or two would pay for shipping to America and the display space.

Lamborghini Miura

Lamborghini Miura

In sum Concorso Italiano is worth going to if you want to see some of the famous Italian postwar marques and some cars that were low priced. If you want see just Ferraris, the Casa Ferrari show had more cars and more unusual ones but easy access to parking is formidable. And oh yes, to get into the Casa Ferrari involves mucho kissing up to your local Ferrari dealer weli in advance…)

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR Wallace Wyss, on commission, paints oil portraits of Ferraris. For a list of finished work, write malibucarart @gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 

(Note: The author had a fine art booth at Concorso Italiano but feels his report has not been influenced –Tom if you let me in the Concorso VIP area next year, I’ll be really nice…)

Bizzarrini Corsa Revival

Bizzarrini Corsa revival

Bizzarrini Corsa Revival

Bizzarrini Corsa Revival

Summary
Concorso Italiano 2023
Article Name
Concorso Italiano 2023
Description
At Concorso Italiano there were Ferraris, Maserati, Lamborghinis, Fiats, Iso, Bizzarrini, and Alfa plus a few almost unknown to Americans.
Author

Comments

  1. Funny you mention the Fiat X1-9 ? You might consider showcasing similar sports cars for folks who have the passion but not the means of the Waltons.

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